Bureau of Educational Research

Last update: July 28, 2020



Research: Immediate Questions & Concerns

Campus advice for dealing with a range of unanticipated situations during the pandemic period:

    Here are some good starting places for College researchers. We encourage you to reach out.

    Upcoming Research Opportunities & Information, by Entity:

    American Educational Research Association (AERA)


    Institute of Education Sciences (IES)

    • March 31, 2020 IES Blog: IES in a Time of Pandemic summarizes work across IES, including the National Center for Educational Research, projects funded by SBIR, Regional Education Labs webinars, As well as the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) efforts announced March 26.
    • March 26, 2020 IES Blog: Seeking Your Help in Learning More About What Works in Distance Education: A Rapid Evidence Synthesis. This call is a first-ever What Works Clearinghouse cooperative rapid evidence synthesis to understand more about what works in distance education to improve student outcomes.
      • Until April 3: (1) Contributions by families and educators. (2) Nominations by other members of the public, including researchers and technologists, of  any rigorous research they are aware of or have conducted that evaluates the effectiveness of specific distance education practices or products on student outcomes.
      • After June 1: Individual meta-analysts, research teams, or others can download screened studies from the WWC and begin their meta-analytic work. As researchers complete their syntheses, they should submit them through the ERIC online submission system and alert IES.
    • May 1, 2020: IES Research Funding for FY2021:
    • Visit IES Important Dates and Deadlines page to verify specific due dates
    • Visit FY 2021 Requests for Applications page for downloadable materials
      • RFAs with proposals due July 30, 2020 (optional LOIs due May 28, 2020):
        • Statistical and Research Methodology in Education
        • Using Longitudinal Data to Support State Education Policymaking
      • RFAs with proposals due August 20, 2020 (optional LOIs due June 11, 2020)
        • Both Education Research and Special Education Research:
          • Research Grants (multiple topics)
          • Research Grants Focused on Systematic Replication
          • Research Training Programs
        • Research Grants Focused on NAEP Process Data for Learners with Disabilities
        • Education Research and Development Centers

    Joyce Foundation

    • March 25, 2020 The Joyce Foundation has designated $2.5 million to address the COVID-19 crisis, to support rapid response initiatives in the city of Chicago and across the state as well as to provide additional financial support to existing grantees most vulnerable to the economic aftershocks of the crisis. "As this situation continues to evolve, we will explore other ways to contribute to finding solutions to the longer term challenges that will certainly arise from the COVID-19 outbreak."

    National Institutes of Health

    National Science Foundation

    Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

    • May 5, 2020: COVID-19 Targeted PFA. Supports innovative, high-impact studies that fit clearly within PCORI mission of patient-engaged and patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research. Objectives are to (1) strengthen the understanding of different approaches to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on individuals, communities, healthcare providers, and healthcare systems; and (2) provide evidence to inform clinical and public health responses, decision making, and planning.
      • Three targeted priority areas:
        • Adaptations to healthcare delivery
        • Impact of COVID_19 on vulnerable populations
        • Impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workforce well-being, management, and training
      • Small Studies: up to $2.5M; Large Studies; up to $5M.
      • Full applications due Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

    Russell Sage Foundation

    • April 14, 2020: Timely Social Science Research Grants Program. Because of the effects of COVID-19 on all facets of American life, the Russell Sage Foundation is changing its immediate priorities for letters of inquiry for the May 21, 2020, deadline to satisfy at least one of the following criteria:
      (a) Research so timely and time-sensitive that the project must start before April 1, 2021;
      (b) Research that analyzes social, political, economic, or psychological disruptions resulting from the coronavirus crisis that affect social and living conditions in the United States.
      All LOIs must focus on issues related to the foundation’s core program areas and special initiatives: Behavioral Economics; Decision-Making and Human Behavior in Context; Future of Work; Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration; Social, Political, and Economic Inequality.

    Spencer Foundation

    • April 23, 2020: Spencer Call for COVID-19 Related Research Proposals.
      • This special grant cycle calls for proposals to support education research projects that will contribute to understanding the rapid shifts in education in this time of crisis and change, with budgets up to $50,000 for projects ranging for one to three years.
      • July 2020: Competition is now closed.
    • March 24, 2020: Spencer Foundation, An Open Letter to Our Community| COVID-19: "More drastic change to education systems has occurred in the last week than it has in arguably the last 50 years. What possibilities does this open up for the future of learning, for the reorganization of our institutions, for the centrality of families and family life?"
    • Spencer Conference Grants - Regular competition, due May 7, 2020
      • Small research conferences that bring together researchers, practitioners, policymakers and other important collaborators for a small research conference or focused symposium.
      • Proposal must address one of three Spencer-designated areas. These could conceivably engage a COVID-19 theme. The three areas include
        • Developing High-Quality Educators and Leaders
        • Exploring Human Learning and Thriving
        • Innovative Research Methods
    • July 28, 2020: Spencer Small Research Grants (regular cycle)
      • Next application opens August 3, 2020, due November 1, 2020.
      • Per the special grant cycle announcement, COVID-19 related projects with research designs that do not require rapid funding may be submitted.

    WT Grant Foundation

    • April 21, 2020: WT Grant Foundation focus areas may lend themselves to COVID-related inquiry. Broadly the funder is interested in research with the potential to improve the lives of young people between the ages of 5 and 25 in: (1) Reducing Inequality; (2) improving the Use of Research Evidence and (3) Connecting Research, Policy, and Practice.
    • Research Grant applications begin with an LOI. The funder has announced that, because two dates for submission, are offered, original LOI due dates for 2020 stand:
      • May 6, 2020
      • August 4, 2020
    • WT Grant Scholars applications are due July 1, 2020
    • Institutional Challenge Grants for research institutions to build sustained research-practice partnerships with public agencies or nonprofit organizations in order to reduce inequality in youth outcomes are due September 10, 2020.